July 22, 2011 2:37:19 am
The fact that Dileep Padgaonkar,one of the three Central interlocutors for J&K,attended an international conference organised by US-based Kashmiri separatist Ghulam Nabi Fai,arrested by the FBI for illegally lobbying for Pakistan and ISI,has not gone down well with another interlocutor,former CIC M M Ansari.
Reacting to The Indian Express report today that in 2005,Padgaonkar accepted Fais all-expense-paid offer to attend a conference on Kashmir in the US,Ansari said: It is very strange and unfortunate. We need persons of impeccable integrity and character to resolve an issue as contentious as Kashmir. Was the Government of India aware about Dileep attending the conference organised by Fai before it appointed him?
Ansari said that while he could not speak for Padgaonkar,if he had been in the same position,he would have quit immediately. Ansari said in Kashmirs discourse,there was a general air of suspicion. Referring to Padgaonkars claim that he had no idea about Fais antecedents,Ansari wondered: How can you attend a conference without knowing the credibility of the individuals and the institutions?
Padgaonkar had told The Indian Express yesterday that had he known who Fai actually was, he would not have attended the seminar.
However,the third interlocutor,Radha Kumar,said she believed Padgaonkar has nothing to apologise about,but felt that the focus should be on areas and organisations that Fai managed to cultivate like the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy,who attended one of Fais conferences,said: I said what I wanted to say,which is that Kashmir is a part of India and we are not going to part with it but we need not go to war about it he said.
Bharat Bhushan,Editor,Mail Today,who attended a Fai-organised conference in 2008,said: There was no pressure to toe any particular line.
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